Diet Recovery 2013

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It’s official.  I’ve threatened to do a rewrite of Diet Recovery for nearly a year.  I’m about halfway through a completely revamped and rewritten version of it right now.  It is happening.  If all goes well it won’t be too long before it comes out either.  In fact, if I were to give one piece of advice to anyone attempting to write a book, it would be to write the book from start to finish in the fewest number of days as possible.  This keeps your mind focused on what you are doing, keeps the flow going, prevents you from repeating the same thing over and over again, or having to constantly re-read the thing to remember what the heck you’ve said already.  Plus, momentum is everything.  Writing the first chapter or two of a book is like pulling teeth, but then you break into the flow.  I’ve written up to 10,000 words in a day before.  Serious flow.

Anyway, I’m off to work on it.  I thought you guys might like to read some of the interesting things I’ve read lately, so I’ll leave a few links.  I’ll probably still do a regular post later this week, but I thought I could buy myself a little more book-writing time this way.

Your Eatopia is a site that some of you have told me about, especially those who are recovering from more formal eating disorders.  It’s a great site, and I even asked the site’s author, Gwyneth Olwyn, to do a guest post here.  But she’s too busy working on some book projects.  We’ll have to settle for what’s already published at her site.  Her post on the phases of recovery of a restrictive eating disorder is a great place to start.

Matthew Bowen who comments here from time to time wrote a great post just the other day called the Porcelain Doll Diet.  It’s very reminiscent of the early days of this site, and the initial push away from restrictive eating and towards greater dietary flexibility and resilience.  I think you guys will love the Porcelain Doll Diet.

One of the most consistent and outspoken commenters at 180D for the past 2 years “solid” is Chiefrok.  Chief’s always got some great ideas, and some great inconsistency with his own posts!  But I guess it’s in his nature to be “intermittent.”  His thoughts and ideas are quite deep and provocative.  His most recent post on his original entry into the world of restricted eating and the role that played in the genesis of his weight problems is one of his best yet.  Read Fat Loss Journey Part I: Diet Fail.

And last, if you’ve never read comedian Margaret Cho’s 2003 article entitled the Fuck It Diet, well son, you’ve really been missing something.  Priceless beyond compare.

See you soon.

And for all those who will want to know if they should buy Diet Recovery now, or if they will get the new one if they do, blah blah… Just wait.  When it debuts early next month I am going to run it on Amazon for 99 cents for all for the first few days, giving everyone a chance to read the new version for practically nothing (whether you purchased the older version or not).  If you just bought it don’t feel bad.  The old one is still a good book, and the new one is going to have such a different emphasis it’s almost like a totally different book altogether.

And one more thing… Do you guys like being directed to a few good reads like this once in a while?  I can make this a regular thing is what I’m saying, if you guys want.


  1. 1) You are awesome, both for rewriting the book and for making it available to your readers for so little.

    2) Yes please, on the “additional reading” links.


    • “Fuck It Diet” was awesome. Coincidentally, I just discovered who Margaret Cho was last night when I was surfing Netflix for some Comedy. Funny, pretty lady, and very smart. :-)

    • Ditto. I’m so glad you linked to Gwyneth’s article. Her mention of keeping calories at a minimum of 2500 calories is an important part of the healing puzzle. I hope you insert that information into your revised Diet Recovery book.

      • Yes, I may mention something like that but not in such specific and formal terms. Something more like – “My girflriend’s 7-year old daughter eats over 2,000 calories per day at 53 pounds, and you’re trying to eat 1500 and have energy and be happy? Como what?”

        • I go by apetite and for the past months i have none. No way i can make myself eat that much. But since i dont restrict and always follw cravings i should be fine, right? because all this eat so and so much is starting to get to me. I just dont feel like eating but im also already skinny.. could my loss of apetite have to with being under a lot of stress since i moved to a new city to study last fall and things havent been what id expected.. (a few years ago id be stuffing myself with food, not losing my apetite..)

          • Have you read Gwyneth’s article mags? She explains, as Matt eludes to, that if your calories are too low your body isn’t getting enough calories/nutrients in order to fully heal/function. The goal is to eventually be able to follow your own appetite, but only after it’s healed as well. It’s pretty hard to follow messed up appetite signals. So, the goal is to heal first, get your body functioning normally again, and then follow your normalized body signals.

            I know that the first reaction to hearing the mention of calorie counting would tend to be negative for those of us who have denounced dieting because it can feel reminiscent to that, but in this situation it’s not. It’s not about restriction and it does not have to last forever.

          • Well, I was stuffing myself with food for a whole year or more after coming off the diet wagon, mainly carbs like oats, taters and rice (and when I say stuffing myself I do meen stuffing.. like 2-3 lbs of mashed potatoes in one sitting was just another normal meal). So it’s not like I dont know how to eat ;) apetite has decreased a little over time. Every now and then apetite increases and I eat like a horse though :).
            I don’t complain about it much though, sixpack is coming back to me (I’ve always been fit so I’ve always had one except for when I started messing with diets then it dissapeared. ugh.), it’s just getting to me when people start talking about kCal again. I don’t want to care about that shit anymore. I just want to eat when I’m hungry and not eat when I don’t feel like it…

          • I’m guessing if you’ve already stuffed yourself for a year, your metabolism is probably doing good and you can follow your body’s hunger signals now. Do you check your temp every now and then to make sure it’s remaining up?

          • Yup :)
            if temps would, god forbid, fall, ill have my bf force feed me plenty of salty, sugary goodies for a week ha ha ^_^

          • Oh, and the only training I do while not having much of an apetite is heavy weights with long rest bewteen sets. No cardio what so ever ;) (excessive training at this point would be idiotic)

          • Hey Emma, you seem to know lots about this stuff. I know this is an older post, but maybe I can email you or vice versa to ask some stuff?
            I was never really anorexic (none of this “eat an apple a day” or anything, never purged or restricted or tried to overexercise.
            But orthorexia had and has bitten me in the butt…and now I’m 31 and starting to binge on all my “safe” foods. I’ve zero energy, do not really exercise other than walk, underweight but ironically keep binging on “safe” foods at late night, eat very rigidly (ocd, famililair) and am stricken with so many gut issues and constipation bigtime :) At my age, I know my hormones and EVERYTHING (adrenal burnout? everything) is a MESS and I don’t know how to freaking fix it. When I was underweight twice before in my life I did the whole eat 3000+ cals hing and gained…but its SO different this time…I’m older, hormones, digestive and cramping issues galore. I honestly believe my guts are full of crap (impacted) and no healthy bacteria , etc that I need to CLEAN THROUGH my body BEfORE I can start to heal….Im lost and after eating SAME things all the time and pretty sure I’ve developed some sensitivies and need to elminate some foods for a long while before I can healthfully re-introduce them again. SO LOST !!! Anyway, any tips, let me KNOW :)

        • That would be great. I’m amazed that I ever thought 1200 calories was enough to live off of.

          • It’s easy to make yourself believe that when it’s the “ideal” female calorie intake for weight loss cited by most sources. Crazy! I never count calories these days but I did the other day to prove a point to a dieting friend. It was a day when I felt like I’d eaten almost nothing (I wasn’t feeling great) and it was still over 2,000 calories!

          • That’s exactly why I followed that recommendation. I can’t wait to get to the point where 2000 calories seems like nothing. Wow!

    • I hope it will or you will, via your awesome blog, talk a little bit about uric acid and gout treatment and prevention. I’m still recovering from a painful gout attack and the doctors advice is…a shit load of water and a low animal protein diet.

  2. Yes! Additional reading!

  3. Good reads are always good!

  4. Here’s another vote for additional reads/links! As if I don’t fall into enough internet black holes….

  5. Absolutely, post links to good reads. I like to experiment with different ideas, no matter how zany, and it’s great to hear other ideas.

  6. Look forward to new book and yes on good reads!

  7. 1) Awesome.
    2) Links are good.
    3) CHIEF!!!!!!

  8. May I throw in a suggestion? Maybe I missed it the first time so I will re-read Diet Recovery & Eat for Heat… but thanks to Eat for Heat I’ve just recently finally “arrived” in the hot zone (temps solidly in the 98’s) and am kinda like “now what”? Do I keep pushing the ice cream for breakfast or should I transition into more of original Diet Recovery recommendations of whole unprocessed foods? I’m so uncomfortable in my body and would like to be able to tie my shoes with ease. I’ve been striving towards this heat goal & now feel a little confused.. so far I’ve not had any signs of being “too hot”

    • Have you reached the point where food is becoming pretty gross-sounding and you are fantasizing about exercise yet?

      • I know Christina asked the question, but I’m kind of in a similar situation. I’m pretty much force feeding myself because NOTHING, and I mean nothing ever sounds good unless I’m extremely hungry. After months of eating whatever I want food isn’t too appealing anymore. But I don’t fantasize about exercising (I never did when I was metabolically healthy either). But I notice if I eat to appetite, which wouldn’t be much food, I don’t have good, fast digestion. So I’m just not sure what to do. Maybe I’m over thinking it, which wouldn’t be surprising :)
        Also, I really enjoyed the links. Youreatopia has been very helpful!

        • I had the same thing happen to me, Stephanie. After 1-2 months of following Matt’s protocol, I was sick of food and had a hard time eating enough because I had no appetite, but, interestingly enough, once I implemented Gwyneth’s 2500 calorie minimum and Billy Craig’s calorie allotment/timing advice, my appetite is coming back and my metabolism is picking up enormously, to the point where I’m thinking that I may need to increase my calories to 3000 a day because, despite how much more food I’m eating, I’m finding myself actually feeling hungry in-between meals.

          Here’s Craig’s article if you missed it. . He talked with us some about the calorie allotment/timing in the comment section as well. I’m excited about the changes I’m seeing just by implementing these two guidelines. They make plenty of sense once you understand the “why” of them. Here’s my previous reply to another person about this:

          “I followed Matt’s re-feeding protocol, but without counting calories. After reading this article (Gwyneth’s), I decided to track my calories to make sure I was getting the minimum 2500 calories. I’m glad I started tracking because I quickly realized that I was still not eating enough. Going from 1200 calories, it was easy to feel like I was eating a lot but I was probably getting around 1800 calories based on how much more I feel like I’m eating. Interestingly enough, within only a few days of increasing my calories to 2500 I began getting hungrier. When I was eating fewer calories, even when re-feeding, my appetite actually went down. I’m actually finding it easier to eat more calories rather than less, and my digestion has markedly gotten better since increasing my calories. I was sort of taken back by all of these improvements because it seems counter intuitive to traditional thinking, but knowing what I know now, it’s just confirming what I’m learning. So, I’m amazed but not really at the same time.

          Because my digestion is picking up so rapidly and I’m finding myself hungrier than ever before, I’m actually considering increasing my calories to 3000 a day. I can’t even believe I typed that. Previously, that amount would have sounded crazy to me, but my body is responding so positively to increasing my calories to the 2500 minimum. The extra weight I’ve accumulated does not distress me so much now that I understand why it happens, and how necessary it is.”

          Here’s another good article from Billy. Again, the comments are enlightening as well.

          • Yes, both calories and the importance of consistent meal-timing will be features of the new book. The new book will have a lot more valuable information about the recovery process itself, and less obnoxious noise about what Kitavans and Pimas eat to justify consuming carbs and fats. If you’re a reader of the book that still thinks a certain macronutrient is bad, you’re not ready for DR 2013.

          • I have read Billy Craigs stuff and have been wondering too about the importance of consistency-
            he stresses eating the same amount at the same time each day so your body fully knows and expects regular abundant feeding!

            I think it would be hard in some ways-
            pushing the food all the time-
            and making sure you eat a certain amount exactly, and at precise times.
            It seems easier to go with the flow and just eat as you feel.
            And for me this does end up being frequently during the day and well over 3000 calories-
            but not neccessarily at exact same times or exact same amounts every day!

            Is it really neccessary ? critical ?
            or in terms of advantageous – hugely, or only a bit???

          • After all that I’ve read, I do think it’s necessary until healing is complete. Billy seems to think that it is THE crucial factor in making it work. I don’t eat according to how I feel because I can’t trust my messed up hunger signals and appetite. For me, it’s a matter of going through the healing process in a logical manner vs. emotionally. For example, my son has physical limitations for which he needs to do physical therapy exercises every day for the rest of his life in order to keep him at his best. He has to do these exercises every day whether he feels like it, or not, in order for him not to backslide. I view this process in the same way, although, unlike my son who can’t be “healed” in the traditional sense, I won’t necessarily have to track my calories for the rest of my life once I’m healed. Nevertheless, while I’m healing I can’t rely on my body or its signals until I can heal and trust them. So, I make myself eat the same amount of calories at the same times each day, even if I don’t feel like it – it’s my physical therapy.

          • I think I am fairly in touch with my body and hunger signals,
            though I may be

            I am still feeling my way on this one.
            Not sure if I want to be in a total regime- but I would do it if the results were forthcoming!

          • I understand. I hate counting calories too, but I don’t trust my body signals at this point so I feel that I need to. Maybe if you at least ate at the same times each day to see if that makes any difference for you.

          • I was able to heal without counting calories. The 3 regular meals/day (maybe + snack or two) is really important. I didn’t try to eat the same amount or anything, but you could probably ballpark it to eat about the same amount at each meal. I doubt it has to be mathematically precise or anything. But if at dinner every night you eat a portion of meat, a certain amount of starch, veggies, etc. you should end up around the same each night.

          • Amy,

            That might be true for me once I get used to how much 3000 calories is. I so easily under guess how much to eat because I got used to eating 1200 a day.

          • I mainly eat at similar times of the day, and roughly similar amounts. Just not religiously- and I dont know how religious you have got to be about it.
            A lot have healed with ad lib eating;
            but would the whole process work better and go faster if one followed precise consistency like Billy is advocating?

            And it seems some are stuck in the phase of having gained, but weight loss is not following.
            Does a more exaggerated intake of calories potentially lead to more healing and weight loss at the other end? Do some stall themselves due to not going hard out enough for long enough on food intake?

            If I am understanding correctly from Billy’s blog- he actually lost weight from chowing down 6000 cals a day ( over the year)?!
            I will go over there now and ask some more precise questions about his journey- what did the process involve- initial weight gain? how long for etc etc?

          • Nola, I think that’s a good idea to ask him that. My impression from what he wrote (and what Gwyneth wrote about this) is that the healing process is faster with more calories and the consistency he speaks about, and the metabolism gets even higher. That’s why I lean towards going “all out” so that the healing process is faster and maybe I’ll start to lose some of this weight that I’ve gain more quickly. I don’t want to be among those who gains weight and then just stalls. Billy said that the high calories put him into hyper-metabolic mode.

          • I asked Billy some questions and got this reply;

            Hi Nola, Considering the fact that you state your have many years of diets in your past I would be tempted to start with moderate calories and work upwards overtime. Speed at which you loose weight and restore metabolism is dependant upon many factors especially how long you’ve been a dieter. So their may be some initial weight gain as you repair. I’d hate for you to start with such a high amount unguided as their are lots of recovery symptoms to be navigated. Start with moderate amounts based upon your weight etc and just be consistent with that. If appetite is not satisfied then increase the amount and stick with that.

            So he is advocating the moderate path.. he didnt answer some of the other bits I was questioning about, but I am happy to have got this bit of info..
            He didnt stress about consistency but more about satisfying appetite!

          • I like the idea of getting into a hyper-,metabolic state-
            it would be good to experience this after years of trying to fend weight off!

            However for now I have started going to about 4000 cals a day- roughly about a 700 cal increase. I have felt well satisfied with this.

            I might be closer to the healing stage than I think-
            I have been gradually moderating my dieting to higher calories over the years and closer to what my body needs.. but just needing to close the last gap between hunger and intake…

          • Nola,

            Even though he didn’t specifically mention it in his response to you, I do remember him saying the higher the calorie intake the faster the metabolism will get, hence, more weight loss, but didn’t recommend others go as high as the 6000 calories he did because he was just trying to prove a point and he suffered as a result of doing it. He did mention that 4000 calories would be a more realistic aim. Here’s his quote…” I picked 6000 out of thin air based upon the knowledge that as long as I stuck with it my set point would lower and I would get slimmer. 6000 is a horrible amount to eat and the end result was that I was too hot, too thin and didn’t look too healthy (plus people kept telling me to eat due to how skinny I was). If your going to do it pick a figure that is more reasonable such as 4000 calories.”

            I think he said this because of Ancel Key’s remark:

            “It was noted by Keys that to fully rehabilitate the body 4000 kcals daily was necessary and that it would take this abundance of calories to restore normal function. Even supplementing with vitamins and minerals was of little use with out a great quantity of food.” Ancel Key – Human Starvation

            I would assume, once fully healed, the body would continue to thrive and do good somewhere around that number.

          • I am finding 4000 calories a good amount so far. I am fuller than I thought on it;
            I dont think I would want to eat more at this point;
            which surprises me!

            It tells me I am in a less starving state than I used to be, and that I might be closer to the healing stage than I though.

            It will be interesting to see how it works out over time, and how my body deals with the extra calories.

          • Nola,

            First, I’m posting as EmmaW now because another Emma is posting and I don’t want her posts to be confused with being mine.

            I’m curious to see how you do in a few days. I was at 2500 for a couple of days and increased to 3000. I’ve been at 3000 for a couple of days now, and I’m already needing to up to 3500. I was so hungry in-between meals today; it took me by surprise. Hunger in the sense that I felt like my stomach was trying to eat itself. I rarely ever felt this type of hunger in my years of dieting. This is showing me that eating more does increase metabolism and eating less lowers it. You would think that if you didn’t eat very much, you would be hungry a lot. But, I’m now realizing that my lack of hunger/appetite was likely due to a suppressed metabolism. My hunger and appetite have been improving so much since eating higher and higher calories. I’m kind of wondering at this point what amount of calories my body will be satisfied with and not get hungry in-between meals. Weird..weird..weird.. I never experienced anything like this during my calorie restriction days. It makes me so sad to think about how all the “experts” continue to tell everyone to do the exact opposite of what they should be doing, and how long I was one of those people. I’m so glad I learned about this.

            BTW, the other Emma that commented on Billy’s blog was the one who has been dieting since 12 years old. I’ve been dieting off and on for about 20ish years. I don’t know why I say I’ve been dieting for several years when people ask. I guess it feels that way because it’s only been the last several years (about the last 3-4) that I’ve been “serious” about it and had been really strict with consistently watching what I ate during those years. Anyhow, I just wanted to clarify that.

          • Ah yes, I did get you confused with that other Emma!

            Ironically enough I am sitting here at 9.00pm at night, having downed just over 4000 cals today and am feeling hungry! lol
            I debated eating more, but I think not yet.
            This is my 4th day on the 4000 cals and it may be best to stay around that amount for now.

            I am as nervous as a cat about gaining weight.
            Logically I should, but I am hoping my body will do something illogical for a change!

          • Nola,

            How are you doing so far? I’m doing really good, but I have decided to drop my last meal of the day. After several weeks now of following the 2500 minimum, my body still does not like eating that last meal of the day. Ironically, it’s only 250 calories; you would think that would be the easiest meal for me to get in, but it’s the hardest. It’s always been 250 calories for my last meal because I don’t like eating a lot just before bed. I thought maybe my body would adjust, but it just isn’t, so I’m dropping it. I have adjusted really well to the higher calories of my other meals though. My body’s digestion just seems to slow down as the day progresses, which I think is why that last meal has been so hard for me. So, I’ll be doing 5 meals a day @ 650 calories a meal, leaving me at 3250 calories for the day. I’ll stick to that for a couple of days and see what my body does.

            I also have signs of increasingly improved metabolism as well. My temp went from 98.1, which it’s been at consistently now for a very long time, to 98.3 the last several mornings. Last night I woke up pouring sweat, not simply feeling damp and hot, but pouring. My energy has been more stable as well, and my head feels more clear than ever before. I think my body is relieved to finally be getting plenty of calories.

          • Hi Emma

            I can relate to having a clearer head, my head is better on more calories-
            many are the times over the years that I have not slept well, or my brain is crashing at night due to lack of glucose ,
            (I have always tailed off calories at the end of the day).
            Or headaches –
            sometimes not eating enough triggers a headache of a certain type for me..

            I am doing fine overall.
            I find it easy to eat 4000 cals, sometimes I could eat a bit less and sometimes a bit more, if I was going to appetite.
            Digestion is fine.

            Sometimes I have freakouts about weight gain;
            and imagine myself to be growing huge and unsightly.
            I have already sewed a whole new wardrobe due to some weight gain, and I absolutely dont want to do it again.

            For the first few days my face got a bit round and ball like, but it has settled a bit now and looking leaner.
            I can tell so much about weight gain at the moment- it is not obvious for or against at this point-
            it has been only 6-7 days of the higher cals,
            and I dont weigh,
            so I am just going by clothes and observation.

            I eat roughly 6 times a day.
            About 1200 cals first thing , then another 800 or so, then about 4 meals of 500.
            I am not being precise about it though, so the format can vary.
            But generally I eat more in the first part of the day and less at night.

            I have not taken my temps yet. But I was taking them regularly a couple of months back so I will check them again to see what is happening now.
            They were lowish.

            I am not pouring sweat yet! It is a hot summer here (NZ) and it is pretty warm anyway –
            I have not noticed any obvious heat changes for myself.

          • I had this posted in the Heavy Weights thread but I thought I’d post it here just in case any of you are still checking this thread and maybe didn’t see it in the other thread.

            “I’ve had a confusing day today. I’ve been doing really good at my 3250 calories (5 in all at this point). Today though, my body is rebelling against eating that much. I was just short of being nauseous eating my 3rd meal, and I skipped my 4th meal altogether because I just couldn’t bring myself to eat. I’m wondering if my hunger and appetite cues are starting to work on their own again. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with the 33 week turnaround mark that Paul mentioned, but something is definitely changing in me.

            I’m thinking about spacing my meal times out just a little bit and to put my calories back to 3000, or do you think I should try to follow my hunger and appetite cues and log my food after I eat to be sure that by the end of the day I’m above 2500? I’m not totally comfortable not logging my calories at all at this point, because I want to be sure that I’m consistently hitting above 2500 calories on my own. The only way to know that is to continue to log my food, but after I eat instead of before so that I can test myself on it. What do you think?”

          • Hi Emma
            I just saw this,
            I will go over and answer it on the heavy weights thread because that is a newer one, and easier to keep track of.

          • Hi Emma,
            how many meals are you splitting the 2500 into? Can you share with me some of the stuff you’re eating? I am in the same boat right now- no appetite, not eating enough, no interest in cooking. I feel physically hungry sometimes but nothing ever sounds good to eat. I have to be really careful or I end up just reaching for cheap easy junk food. I have no idea how I would cram in 2500 of reasonably wholesome calories. I am having at least 2 meals per day as a whey protein shake (with other stuff like raw egg and banana) just because I can’t figure out what to eat. What can I add in to bring my calories up? Dried fruit?

          • Tierney,

            I split my food into 6 meals: 8am, 10:30am, 1pm, 3:30pm, 6pm, and 8:30pm, with the first 5 meals containing most of the calories, and the last meal being a lower calorie, snack type of meal since it’s too close to bedtime for me to eat anything too large. These times work best for my schedule. I add coconut oil to everything I can think of to up the calorie count. These are the types of foods I’m eating…

            Bagles with cream cheese or butter (or peanut butter if you like it)
            Egg bacon and cheese on a buttered english muffin or bagel
            Biscuits and gravy
            French toast with plenty of butter and syrup
            Cinnamon rolls
            Pancakes or waffles with plenty of butter and maple syrup
            Cream of wheat with butter or coconut oil and milk, half and half, or cream
            Potatoes fried in coconut oil, eggs and/or bacon, and buttered toast or english muffin
            Sometimes I’ll have cereal if I’m really feeling like it
            I will fill out some of my lower calorie breakfasts with buttered toast (cinnamon and sugar toast is great also), coffee with plenty of sugar and cream, or orange juice
            Fully loaded sandwich (these are good on bagels as well as regular sandwich bread) and chips (I buys ones that have been cooked in coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil)
            Hamburger/hotdog fully loaded (on my sandwiches and hamburgers I normally use guacamole in place of mayonnaise)
            Fully loaded burritos/tacos (we usually get our fish in by having fish tacos; fish tacos are one of my favorite meals.)
            Sloppy Joes (or shredded beef/chicken sandwiches)
            Chicken Piccata
            Chicken Parmesan
            Chicken pot pie
            Chicken and dumplings
            Beef stew
            Chicken fried steak, steak, roast chicken, etc. with mashed potatoes and gravy and vegetables (with cheese sauce if desired)
            Orange chicken (or any style of Asian chicken with sauce: general Tao’s, etc.) with coconut rice (rice cooked with canned coconut milk) and veggies
            High fat casseroles
            Shepherd’s pie (with plenty of butter and salt in the mashed potato topping)
            Homemade mac and cheese
            Italian imported pastas with various high fat sauces (if I’m using a basic tomato based sauce, I stir in some coconut oil to increase the fat/calorie content)
            Any of your main dishes can be served with rolls with butter or cornbread with butter and/or honey
            Ice cream (I buy HD most of the time)
            Milk shakes or Smoothies (ice cream and milkshakes/smoothies can definitely be a meal in itself because most are high calorie)
            Here are some more snacky type items I use to fill out the calorie count of my meals, if needed:
            Popcorn with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top (this can be a meal in itself depending on how high you get the calorie count with added butter/coconut oil and parmesan cheese. I use the Black Jewel brand of popcorn because they use palm oil and no weird added ingredients)
            V8 (this is a great way to get extra vegetables into your day. I usually have this with several of my meals)
            Homemade jello using orange juice or grape juice
            Licorice (I love black licorice)
            Cheese and/or crackers
            Homemade or quality made store bought cookies, cakes, brownies, cheesecake, pie, etc.
            Homemade or quality made caramel (primary ingredients are sugar, butter, and heavy cream)
            Chocolate (chocolate bar, chocolate milk)

            This is all I can think of at the moment for meals/food that I eat. If I think of anything else, I’ll add it.

          • wow thanks for all that. Reading your list did give my appetite a boost!

            Fish tacos is a very good idea. I really don’t eat enough fish, And V8, I had forgotten about how much I used to like V8, and I need some more veg I think.

            unfortunately I am a little sick of coconut oil so I can’t add it to too many things. I bake with it, but I can’t add it to coffee or tea like I know some people do.

            Have you been following Gwyneth for a while?

          • I only recently discovered Gwyneth, but I have already been re-feeding myself with Matt’s protocol for the past 6ish months. Gwyneth’s information has helped me to understand the healing process better and how important is is to keep your calories above 2500. I wasn’t doing that, which was undermining my efforts to heal. I am pumped to have found her and “desperate” to heal myself so I’ll do whatever I need to to get past the damage I’ve done to myself and get back to eating normally.

            I understand about the coconut oil, that’s why I put it in things where it’s not noticeable. I couldn’t put coconut oil in my coffee. I buy the coconut oil that does not taste or smell like coconut so that it doesn’t affect the flavor of what I’m eating. I use coconut in place of butter as much as I can, such as in my cream of wheat, on popcorn, in mashed potatoes, in gravy roux, etc. It can also be mixed into guacamole, smoothies, yogurt; just tuck it in where you can where you won’t notice it. Coconut oil is easier to digest and higher in calories than butter, that’s why I try to use it in place of butter as much as I can.

          • Pretzels, hard or soft. I love getting a fresh salted pretzel.

          • Olives

          • Quesadillas
            Croissants (made with real butter)

          • I forgot about V8 too. I used to drink that when I was a kid.

            Thanks for sharing!!!

          • Emma, thank you for the response, it was very helpful. And I was surprised at how few calories I was eating when following my appetite. The past few days I’ve consciously been eating more and I’ve felt better than I have. It’s just hard to figure out how to reach that many calories when food doesn’t sound good! I’ve been eating a lot of talenti gelato to get there.

          • Interesting. I’ve been taking Min-Col three times a day and was starting to think that might have been causing my lowered appetite. I’ve been feeling a little nauseated from it for some reason. Probably better to up the food intake instead of swallowing pills. I use black strap molasses everyday in milk, anyway.

            I might have to give your tips a go. I’m male, so presumably I’m gonna need more calories than a woman, right?

            I was curious as to whether you cook all your food yourself or buy some it ready made. I feel like rubbish after ingesting anything store bought, which makes the game a little harder I suppose, since I have to make everything from scratch.

            Since rrarfing I’ve noticed I don’t seem to struggle with gluten (white flour anyway), which has been a bonus. Reflecting back, I don’t think I was ever intolerant to it, my metabolism was the problem. Thank god I found this site; I had purple fingernails and freezing hands for the past 12 years and could never figure out why! The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together.

          • By the way, does anybody know how to subscribe to comments here? My RSS finder on Chrome doesn’t detect anything.

          • Usually men need more calories than women, but that’s not always true; it comes down to caloric need for each individual based on many factors. Billy Craig mentioned 4000 calories being the minimum needed for the body to repair itself, which is why I’m working my way up to 4000 instead of staying at 2500, which Gwyneth recommends as a minimum, but encourages you to eat more than that if you feel you need to. That’s just the number she doesn’t want you to go below. You might try starting at 4000 and if you are finding yourself still hungry, up the calories a bit more.

            I do make most of my food homemade, but I do buy store bought if it’s made well without a bunch of added non-food ingredients in it. Sometimes I will buy the “healthy” brands because most of them only use real ingredients. I have noticed that more “natural/healthy” products are being made through national brands though. I’m assuming this has to do with them keeping up with the demand that’s out there for food that doesn’t have a bunch of crap in it. And then there’s the handful of not as healthy store bought items I buy because having some “junk” is not going to kill us and those items are yummy enough to me to make it worth it.

            Hopefully, down the road you can handle gluten again. I thought I had a problem with gluten, but it turned out that it was the bran from the whole wheat, and other whole grains, but to a lesser extent, that was causing me problems. Once I removed whole grains/bran from my diet all of my symptoms finally went away. I only cook with white flour now and have no trouble what so ever.

          • Thanks, I appreciate your insight.

          • Emma, Do you have a link for the Billy Craig information that you mention? 4,000 calories a day is hard for me to fathom, but I am interested in learning more about his thinking. I guess my thought is that my body is storing extra fat for a reason during refeeding and it will start to heal itself once it has ample energy either directly ingested or combined with fat reserves.

            Also, out of curiosity, how long have you been on the higher caloric intake?

          • As I told Tierney above, I only recently found Gwyneth’s site and her recommendation (rule) of a minimum 2500 calories so that’s why I’m now doing that as a minimum. I want to work my way up to 4000 calories a day if I can, but I’m not sure if my sluggish hypothyroid digestion will allow me to. Right now I’m at 3000 calories and if my stomach continue to empty at a normal rate and I don’t start having an emptying delay, where I’m just putting one meal on top of another in my stomach, then I’ll inch it up to 3500, and so on.

            Here’s the article where Billy refers to the 4000 calories:
   (It’s the Ancel Keys quote at the end of the article). I have never been clinically anorexic, but trying to live off of 1200 calories was definitely under-eating (just like the men in the starvation experiment who were eating 1800 calories), which is why I would like to get to 4000 calories if my body can handle it. It will mean healing quicker and increasing my metabolism even higher, so in my mind, those are good reasons to aim for 4000 calories if I can handle it.

      • Hey Matt –
        No I still like food… yesterday I suddenly had a huge appetite and this afternoon I am sitting at 100 degrees. I don’t feel sick at all, but that seems a bit high for “normal”. I am less interested in sugary /rich foods… especially chocolate, which is my number 1 craving when dieting.

        I do dream of yoga and have kept up weight lifting (the 12 minute / 5 exercise workout) and walking randomly. Yesterday, I had to run inside to get something car to house & suddenly felt like I wanted to do more.

        Guess its time to up the exercise?

        • Btw – love the links & can’t wait for the new book!

        • I would definitely do some exercise, and make sure it’s progress oriented – as in you get stronger and fitter from week to week and month to month. Only do as much as you desire, and keep doing it indefinitely. That’s a good place to start before you start messing with your diet. Let us know where you’re at by late summer.

  9. Looking forward to the new book. Also like the links.

    • YES!! The links and any other tips for additional reads would be great. Looking forward to your new book.

  10. A reading list would be much appreciated. Who knew there was such a thing as the marathoner’s paradox? Starvation diabetes? Pseudo Cushing’s? We need more talk (links) about how extreme restriction is not the answer to preventing/overcoming obesity, securing long term health and ultimately attaining happiness.

  11. Matt – yes please more good stuff!

    Speaking of links, you messages me on Facebook that you responded somewhere to my question about being a vegetarian and following your approach. I’ve read so much here on your blog that I have no idea where you responded to my question? Could you redirect me or answer here please?
    I”d really appreciate it as I”ve begun applying your info in 2 of your books that I purchased but I missed your direct response regarding vegetarianism. Thanks!

    • I think so. I even have a vegan client (and popular vlogger) who has seen typical metabolic increases while remaining vegan. Faster nail growth, beard growth, major sex drive increase, strength increase, 2 degree body temp increase, etc. Was thinking of even doing a book project later this year addressing why vegan diets so often fail – not always just because they lack meat products but because of starvation occurring on a diet of green juice, salads, spouts, and other rabbit food swill interspersed with cleanses and fasts and other nonsense.

      • Would luv to see that book happen, Matt! Sounds great! I’m not a vegan nor rabbit food guy ;-)

  12. Oh I can’t wait for the new book! And thanks Matt for making your work so accessible. I would definitely go for links to other sites you think are interesting.

    A few years ago I bought Scott Abel’s Beyond Metabolism and began reading it and wanted to throw it in the (virtual) bin. As the title implies, Abel is urging you to forget the food for now, and really come to terms with why you compulsively eat and the feelings behind that. I was like – f*ck that. Well I obviously had not finished with my nutrition mania and needed a few more years down the rabbit hole. I’ve just finished reading it and wow, it is a really helpful book for someone with eating issues. I totally recommend that book.

  13. Just bought the Diet Recovery over the weekend and enjoyed the read. Looking forward to the new one!

  14. Thanks for those great reads, keep’em coming, please!

  15. bh
    Quick question: when one’s temperature climbs and hands and feet warm up, it’s great in the winter, especially if heating costs are so high! But come summer, will it be uncomfortable? Living in places with HOT summers, are people up for torture, or is it that the metabolism levels out so that it mellows out on its own in the summer? How does that work?

    • I would guess so. Perhaps the exodus of Americans to southern cities is a reflection of the lowered cold tolerance and increase heat tolerance of a bad metabolism, which many people have. And, of course, air conditioning.

    • Yes and no. Usually your sweat glands work a lot better with a higher metabolism, and your system as a whole has greater flexibility. Your heat and cold tolerance both improves. It looks like I will be spending my first summer in Florida this year, so I’ll keep ya posted. I would imagine in extreme heat it would be natural for appetite to drop and thirst to increase – having a natural cooling effect if you are tune with these cues.

      • I agree with you about heat and cold. I live in the mountains, which get cold in the winter, yet I am less than 150kms away from Sydney, which gets hot and very humid in summer. I hear that Florida also gets very humid, which is harder to deal with than just ordinary heat.

        In the past, I have had no trouble with the extemes of hot and cold, prefering the cold. This year, I did not feel the cold, but I am suffering due to heat. My temperature is fine, and my fluids appear to be ok, the extra fat on me feels alien and my appetite has been diminishing for a month (finally!) I get very hot after eating and I would not have eaten so much had I not needed to, which is probably one reason why I feel so hot all the time. I take baths in cold water while eating frozen orange juice and ice cubes. I sip ice peppermint tea with salt sprinkled in it (I did this before I found your blog). I cannot stay asleep without the fan on.

        I am craving to get outdoors and walk around and I am fidgeting a lot. I cannot do so because I am still injured. I still do not have my period, but experience from when I lost it in the past tells me that it may take a year to return and it probably will not while I am in a stressful environment, no matter how well I am treating myself.

        • Hot summers like we’re having in S. Africa – yes, eating sets you on fire. Also yes, appetite decreases. Thirst goes up. I’ve been living on home made ice tea, the freezer can’t keep up, I’m drinking about a third more than usual, yet not peeing more so presumably all in balance so long as I remember to sip not gulp. Night swims are great and somehow you feel like you’re on holiday. Being someone who hates cold weather even for a few months, even in small and feeble quantities compared with snowy northern climes, I’d still rather be this way and hardly feel winter than the other way around. And the heat is tolerable. Maybe you regulate heat and not just cold better when metabolism improves? I’ve noticed that people in Durban (Florida-like heat+humidity) tolerate the heat worse as they age, anyone noticed that? Might support that idea.

  16. This is unrelated but I wanted to share my thoughts on the eat for heat concept and fluid / salt balance. I think perhaps this approach seems to works so well for a lot of people because of the typical advice of drinking a lot and eating a lot of watery and or potassium rich foods.

    Drinking less definitely helped me a lot. But I feel that for me just managing salt and water wasn’t enough and that I need to take potassium in the equation. Too much salt in relation to potassium seems to make me stressed and tensed and this doesn’t help in making me feel warm, no matter how much or little I drink. My pee can be a dark yellow and I’ll still be cold and stressed. In this situation more potassium really seems to work. Some fruit juice (if I also can use the fluid content) or palm sugar seems to do the trick in such cases.
    I’ve noticed this pretty often now, eating more salt can make me feel bad/worse even if I’m cold and peeing too often and too clear. I’m slowly getting the hang of it and balancing potassium and salt more intuitively.

    • I was similar in the sense that even with dark yellow urine, I could still feel stressed. I am now of the belief that reacting poorly to fluid intake is probably a symptom of a bad metabolic state, rather than a cause. Or at least in my case there were enough other things going in that fluid restriction alone wasn’t enough to fix things.

      • I guess it works both ways.

    • Everything can be taken too far. I think loading up big on salt for a while can really balance some things out for people in bad shape. But the longer you go in that direction in my experience thus far, the more likely you are to start running into the major symptoms of salt overload (restless legs and headaches being the most common I’ve experienced). You’re right that more OJ and some bananas fixes it right away. If you think that’s a new magic diet and do it long enough, you’ll probably run right back into a salt-depleted state again! It’s an interesting thing to tinker with for sure. It’s just a piece of the puzzle, certainly not the whole thing.

      • Of course, I’m talking about balance. But the advice regarding minerals and fluids you give in eat for heat basically says: Less fluids and more salt until you’re warm. While I’ve experienced I can over do this strategy before getting warm (I can get restless legs while being cold after eating salty sticks in the evening).

        Perhaps a better approach to eating for heat would be to keep salt and potassium in balance and increasing the concentration of both these minerals and not just salt.

  17. holy cow, that eatopia site is incredible!

    • I tore through it. I’m looking forward to her book, as well as Matt’s.

    • The eatopia site IS incredible.

      I’m often a pretty rational, calm dude…but it made me realize the extent of my eating disorder. Thankfully I don’t have it as bad as some.

      I was thinking of alternating between gluten-free days and gluten-filled days…but honestly, that’s probably teetering on the edge of falling back into constant surveillance of my diet and health, so I figure I’m going to just let it all go and eat what I want when I want.

    • it is what saved my health and sanity. I owe Gwyneth Olwyn so much… SO GLAD she’s finally featured here! <3

      • I just have to say about eatopia, wow. Thank you for the link. Much amazing info but how about this to top it all:
        “Consciousness eating presumes that having our emotions active and interacting with our hunger and satiation cues is inferior to the process of applying our conscious, or logical mind, to the assessment of whether the desire we feel to eat is in fact something that must be addressed for logical reasons.
        We cannot eat logically. Our logical minds are too late to the evolutionary party, by millennia, to actually offer any value to how we pursue and stay optimally energized.
        This reverence of the logical mind and twinned disdain of the emotional mind is, from an evolutionary perspective, ludicrous. The structures within your brain that support your emotional landscape are robust, distributed and ensure your survival to a level that your logical mind couldn’t even hope to achieve on its best coffee-upped day!”

        • Yeah that’s good.

          Early last year I came to the realisation that hunger and food was an instinct-
          and to be obeyed as such-
          not rationaled and put through the mind processes.

          Basically exactly what she is saying

          • Yes, but you do realize she was/is referring to a healthy functioning body that is in remission/been healed? While people are in the healing phase though, she does use logic and science to guide people back to a place where they can put their trust back into their body.

          • Yeah, although I have no problem in feeling my hunger- I know the signs inside and out-
            I just have not followed it due to fear (and reality) of weight gain.

            I havent been sure enough to start the big eating route for healing- because all of my refeeding in the past has lead to weight gain that doesnt just drop off naturally,
            and has involved a return to the dieting cycle to get it off.

            It is highly possible/likely I have just not followed it enough-,
            ie let myself eat enough and for long enough- to get to the place where the body is willing to naturally release the fat and lower setpoint.

            But still, there are no guarantees in this process- some still are holding on to excess weight they would rather not have..

          • Oh my gosh, I hear you. I want off the hamster wheel. I guess that’s why I’m willing to trust the process, and give it 100%, because I don’t think one can only put in a partial effort and get the results that 100% gives. You may be right, maybe you didn’t push yourself as far as you needed to go for the process to complete itself, with the end result being natural weight loss. I can see why you want more answers to ensure that you are not going to end up in the same spot all over again. I can understand, and I share, your fear over the weight not coming off in the end. I’m looking forward to anything further that Billy may have to share with us.

          • I guess I should clarify that I don’t think you’re giving, or gave in the past, partial commitment. I meant that if you were giving partial commitment without realizing it. I think that’s what was going on with me before I found Gwyneth’s site. I thought I was doing good and then once I tracked my calories to make sure I was getting the minimum 2500 calories that she recommends, I realized how short of that I was. So, I unintentionally was not giving it 100%.

          • Hi Emma

            I do want off the hamster wheel.
            But I still dont know how willing I am for more weight gain- or able to deal with it.
            It does my head in- and thats why I have always pulled back from this process.
            And the fear that it never reverses- ie, weight keeps going up, and doesnt come off.

            Nonetheless I have started on the 4000 cal path!

            I did write further up on this page what Billy said.
            I was surprised in some ways he advocated the middle path. But it is good to have a guideline.

          • I do understand. Gaining weight can create a high level of anxiety. I’m proud of you that you are at least willing to give it a try. Who knows, maybe his middle of the road suggestion, which, by the way we don’t know what middle of the road means to 6000 calorie Billy :), comes from knowing about the 2500 minimum, and working up from that point, so he recommends it as a reasonable way to go about it. He obviously has an opinion about what’s too low because he believes, according to Ancel Key’s study, that 1800 is starvation level. Considering that, I can only imagine that he would consider normal low to be somewhere around 2500-3000, because 2000 is too close to 1800. I haven’t come across anything where he mentions a minimum. If I did, I already forgot it.

          • Yeah- I read his bit about considering 1800 to be starvation, and I would agree,
            though many women subsist on this,
            and less,
            as a regular thing.

            It is very interesting really- how low calories have been normalised in todays society.

            By most womens standards I eat a lot, but I know it has not been enough for me- I have still been feeling degrees of hunger/food deprivation.

            Possibly a period of high eating might normalise my appetite to a lower level, or not?!
            We will see..

  18. Matt, correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t really talk much about alcohol.

    Now having Irish ancestry, I suppose I’m predisposed to an affinity towards whiskey. (The water of life).

    I had a few drinks with a friend the other night and I woke up feeling better than I have in a long time. And this seems to be the case with whiskey. I always wake up feeling better the next day. Doesn’t matter what I mix it with (was Dr. Pepper in this case but I’ve just done shots before as well).

    My morning temp was the highest its been the next morning as well. A half a degree warmer than this morning, and I plowed through a Mongolian buffet last night (Genghis Khan would have been proud of the desolation left in my wake).

    So what’s the deal here? Any clues?

    Also, on the eat for heat subject, what gives with all the science showing that water improves weight loss?

    • Water improves weight loss for several reasons probably, but by far the biggest is the reduction in calorie intake when swapping out 1000 calories of Big Gulps for 0 calories of water. The other is the increased calorie burn when you are engulfing supranormal quantities of cold fluid and having to heat it up to body temperature.

      As far as alcohol, I would assume it helps top off liver glycogen reserves, but it may go deeper than that. I personally have never been much of an alcohol fan except when I was starving. So it’s hard to be interested in it enough to research it. Perhaps you could do that for us!

      • I’ll experiment on myself.

        Last night I had a single shot of Templeton Rye at bedtime. This morning I’m much warmer than normal. Usually I have cold hands and feet within the first hour of getting out of bed. Not so today.

        I’m going to have a single shot every night before bed for the next month and see what it does for me.

    • Speaking from experience I can say that one or two shots of hard liquor tends to warm me right up. There is nothing like it for shutting down the stress response nearly instantly. When I have cold hands and feet I take a shot while I prepare my food. Booze is also very good for increasing appetite. When my appetite plumits and I don’t feel like there is anything I want, I take a shot and proceed to devour everything. I realise this is just a drug effect and is probably very bad and the demon booze might destroy my health and my soul but dammit it works for me.

      • That’s funny because on the Eatopia site she was talking about “drunkorexia” or using booze to *suppress* appetite…

        • I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but when I drink I lose my appetite. If I start dinner with a few drinks I don’t want to eat anymore. I’m not sure but I don’t think it’s good, and since I’ve been in recovery I’ve noticed that when I go out and drink a lot with friends, my metabolism suffers the next few days after…not fun.

          • If I drink beer before a meal all that liquid will fill me up. Same with sweet mixed drinks. Sugar absolutely destroys my appetite. Any sweet tea, coke, or fruity cocktails and I can’t eat half as much. I have to save the sweets for dessert. Also heavy drinking is different and suppresses just about everything.

        • There is a lot is science showing that a single drink per day lowers all cause death risk.

          So we know a little alcohol is good.

          My question is what does it do to metabolism? Seems to really stoke it in my experience. Of course, I haven’t been drunk in years. And I tend to stick to Whiskey.

          A shot or two also really stimulates my appetite.

  19. It’s always nice to have links posted. Chances are if people are interested in what you have to say, you’ll be reading some intersting stuff too..

  20. Dear Matt,

    1) I’d like more pics of sugar induced ta-ta growth.

    2) I think we need more articles on taking niacinamide and aspirin, and then about Vitamin K to balance out the aspirin and other B vitamins to balance out the niacinamide. And by the way, please write an article about what besides niacinamide can calm me down, because taking the T3 has got my heart palpitating and that’s making me kind of nervous. Now that leads me to ask you to write an article about magnesium, which I am sure would calm me down, except that I am sure that all of the egg shell calcium I am eating is blocking the absorption of it. I am, at the same time, afraid that if I overdo the magnesium that I will block the calcium and will die a miserable death due to high parathyroid levels. Please include something about that in the article. I also need to know more about Vitamin D supps: I haven’t been getting any sun, due to the fact that I am staying home to read nutrition articles much of my time and devoting the rest of my life to the noble cause of breathing in-and-out of a brown bag. By the way, I’ve given up weightlifting and basketball, which I used to do and loved, because I know they are putting too much stress on my body. Instead I got myself one of them midget trampolines that I jump up and down on all god damn day long (yes, I breathe in and out of that brown bag while doing this). To increase the anti-stress effects of the bouncing, I listen to recordings of ocean waves and chirping birds. Ever since I learned that darkness is stressful, I have been leaving my two infrared lights shining all night long, one aimed at my face, the other aimed at my scrotum, so could you write an article about how to get sleep with an infrared light shining in your face 24/7 ( I know it’s my fault, but I am sort of tired.)and another article about the optimal distance to keep the light from one’s scrotum…I look like a gay porn star now that all of the pubic hair has been scorched away.. I also want to know about Zinc, but then please write about copper since it will be blown away by the zinc. I also would like an article about whether I should stick the thermometer up my ass, in my mouth, under my armpit or against my right temple. Should I take my pulse sitting, standing or suspended upside-down? I am drinking a gallon of OJ per day and now that I have quit my job and cashed out my 401K to TAKE CARE OF MYSELF, I have the time to filter out all of the evil pulp which was put in oranges by Monsanto; however, I am concerned that all of that vitamin C is reducing my DHEA levels. Therefore do you think you could write an article about how to use pregnenolone to boost my DHEA levels? I am so scared that if I took DHEA itself that I might turn into a girl. By the way, I am moving to Mexico so I can eat the four other fruits in the world that are healthy. II’ll send you a post-card.

    3)Somebody told me the other day that I was taking from Peter to pay Paul. Could you write an article about what that means?

    Mens sana in corpore sano,


    • Thomas,

      Your second point reminded me so much of a former self, it’s scary. Spot on, man.

    • LMAO…. !!!

    • HAH!

    • LOL!

    • I feel sorry for all of those that are not peatards, this genius will be lost on them :(

    • I will provide more of request #1 if you turn request #2 into a comical post for the site, to which I’ll add an emphatic “damnit!”

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Mens sana in corpore sano is not spanish. Spanish is the language they speak in Mexico, and, surpsingly, even Latin America.

      • You make a tantalizing offer Herr Kommissar. It’s hard for me to resist Ta-Tas!

        I am sure there is a play on words in your statement about “Mens Sana…” not being Spanish, but it’s too early in the morning for me to figure it out. Just in case you’re not joking, the expression is in Latin, as in the language spoken by people in the now defunct Roman Empire and the language sometimes currently spoken by men who wear dresses and molest altar boys (although less so since Vatican II).

    • Cool, and I thought it was only my head hurting after diving into Peat.

  21. I like the idea of posting links to other articles and writers. It broadens my perspective, and it’s nice to see what you are reading and where some of your own thoughts come from, Matt.

  22. I love Gwyneth! Yay!

    • And I love YOU! ;-) (ha now you would like to know who I am… :) we would nearly have met once upon a time)

    • ME TOO!! And I love you des :)

  23. Hi all, I cut back on some of my ‘diet recovery’ due to strong pains under my upper left rib cage. I’ve had he pain for 6 weeks now and I’m not sure if it’s a gastroparesis type pain or a large bowel pain because I’m still not going regularly either.

    I know that Gwenyth has spoken about people not making it through the pain of re-feeding and now I understand.

    As soon a s I cut back, the pain eased off but now I am back to hypo headaches and the worst offender of all, nighttime hypoglycemia.

    Fat for me, especially saturated, is a killer. This I don’t know if I can adapt to.

    But life goes on.

  24. Hey, I have a question for anyone who cares to chime in….
    After perusing the eatopia site (thanks for linking Matt:) I’m realizing that I’m not fully recovered from an eating disorder. I haven’t had eating disordered behavior for close to 5 years, but in the physical aspect I’m not there.
    I came out of anorexia and straight in to pregnancy and then another 18 months later. Still breastfeeding. i think the main issue is that I never got a sufficient amount of all the macronutrients. I am now though, have been for six months ( with lots of encouraging changes.) but I still don’t eat dairy or grain because I don’t tolerate them well.
    So, my question is ( after all that rambling;) is do I push through and eat them, and hope that that changes? What would you do?
    Not sure what path to take here.

    • As far as dairy goes, you don’t start back with a huge amount. When I re-introduced dairy, I followed Ray Peat’s advice. I started out drinking maybe an ounce of milk once or twice a day. Then I slowly added more over time. I *THOUGHT* I was intolerant to dairy, but it turned out that I just needed to slowly re-introduce it in the above fashion.

      Are you sensitive to all grains? How about white rice?

      • Hi Thomas,
        small quantities no, larger yes. Pretty much none of this stuff has an immediate effect on me, but after a few days of it my joints start hurting.
        I can’t drink a glass of milk without my stomach hurting, but I can have a little in my coffee.
        If I eat a bowl of ice cream two days in a row, my joints will hurt for a few days. stuff like that.
        I haven’t experimented too much thought because it’s just frustrating.

        • Katie, that’s right. You don’t start out with a whole glass of milk, but add a little bit at a time. Here is a possible plan:

          1: 1 oz of milk/day
          2 1 oz of milk 2X day
          3) 2 oz of milk/day
          4) 3 oz of milk/day

          And so on, until you are up to 8 oz per drink. After this you should be ok, but you can continue to increment in small quantities if you like.
          I guaranteed you that I was the same way as you. I would try to drink a glass of raw milk (thinking it mattered that it was raw) and have stomach problems. Mind you, when I started reintroducing milk, I hadn’t drunk ANY in over 25 years. My body wasn’t used to it. However, once I started re-introducing gradually. I saw there was no problem. My body re-adapted. This advice came from Ray Peat and is in one of those broadcasts he did. Now I can drink pretty much as much milk as I like. Oh, especially for the initial phase, it’s best to make sure that you are using whole fat milk.

          • I can’t promise that the above will work for you Katie. It did for me and it has for some other people. Everybody is different though. I just know that some people who THOUGHT they were intolerant of dairy turned out not to be following the above guidelines. Try it and see if it makes a difference.

          • Thanks Thomas! I’m going to try that and see what happens. Have you used that for adding in any grain? I imagine it could work the same way…
            I’m eating pretty much Ray Peat style now, sans the dairy.

          • Although after reading through stuff on Gwyneths sight I’m wondering if just eating MORE will be more helpful than all the RP stuff….

          • Kate,

            Peat has some good ideas, but in my opinion, it’s just too convoluted. My opinion, reduce the PUFAs, but otherwise just eat lots of food. That will serve you best, in my opinion. If you go up this thread some, I made a long post about the convoluted use of vitamins, etc. I am making fun of Peat there. Like I said, he has some good ideas, but if you try to apply all of it, it will make you neurotic.

          • “Like I said, he has some good ideas, but if you try to apply all of it, it will make you neurotic.”

            So true. And many of the people on the RP forum are very neurotic.

            For example, his very limited list of acceptable fruits to basically oranges and watermelon. And even then, only the juice of the orange is acceptable. And how can carrots and bamboo shoots be the only acceptable sources of fiber? That is really ridiculous.

            Plantains and bananas supposedly have too much serotonin, mangoes cause “mango sickness” and pineapples have too much tryptophan. Well my family grew up eating lots of plantains, mangoes, pineapples and bananas and they were very healthy. They had no choice, living on a tropical island. I ate so many mangoes when I was a little girl and I never experienced mango sickness. In fact, i had never heard of mango sickness until Ray mentioned it in an interview.

            But I think he is definitely right about PUFA, calcium and simple sugars.

          • Kate, I never had any problem with grains, so, no, I haven’t tried it for grains.

        • Kate, milk bothers my husband unless I put probiotics in it. I put in 1 tsp. per gallon of milk, let it sit overnight so the “buggies” can do their work on the milk (makes the milk easy to digest), and then the milk is ready for consumption – problem solved. Maybe this could work for you as well?

          • BTW, the probiotics don’t change the flavor of the milk at all.

        • Have you tried goat’s milk? It’s easier to digest for a lot of people.

          • Thanks everyone! I have not tried goats milk and was just thinking of that this morning:)

          • If your joints are hurting, you probably have allergy to milk protein, which is totally different problem from lactose intolerance.

            You most likely have some autoimmune issue with your joints, right?

            If i’d try to keep slowly increasing milk consumption, my MS would come back. My immune system would not just get used to it, but would go mad if i keep drinking it.

            But, i’d be glad to hear your experience. :)

          • Yes, I was just making a suggestion (that may or may not work) and remember, this isn’t the Peat Zone, so milk is not an essential centerpiece of the strategy.

          • Yes, I’ve had autoimmune like symptoms after recovering from anorexia. Butter doesn’t bother me at all, I’m assuming because it’s mostly fat.
            I know milk isn’t required, but it is DESIRED;)

          • Then go for it and see what happens!

          • Have you tried raw milk, or cream top milk? My son is lactose intolerant but can drink raw milk with no problems at all. I think it’s the processing that creates the problems for him (pasteurization, and especially homogenization).

          • I know what you’re saying – i just wanted to make sure she realizes it was most likely the protein allergy.

            There must be a way to overcome these annoying allergies. There must be a way to re-wire the immune system.

            Dairy is such an easy food, beneficial food.

            I have problem with sheep, goat and cow dairy, raw or not, although at one point i was able to eat sheep yogurt without triggering immune system over-reaction. That’s when i lived in Syria. Maybe the sheep there are different, haha.

          • Are you able to eat grain?

          • Hey Kate,

            No, i don’t have any problems with grains, or gluten for that matter. Of course, i am so thankful that at least gluten i can consume.

            I don’t however understand how grains would cause autoimmune reaction, unless it’s due to gluten. So, maybe it’s not autoimmune afterall :)

            The casein allergy is pretty common for MS. I never had any allergic symptoms to dairy until the first symptoms of MS developed. So strange. And i’m determined to figure this. :)

          • bh
            The sheep are probly not different but what they eat probly is very different……

  25. I heard about you from Cheeseslave and am completely fascinated with you. I have a few food intolerances. Gluten and dairy. I get really bad painful cramps and headaches from them. Also sugar makes me a crazy psycho. But I still cheat all the time. I bought two of your Ebooks and will be getting the diet recovery when you rerelease it. I am not overweight and temp is usually around 98.4. I still would like to overcome these intolerances and be able to eat pizza and all those other goodies listed up above. So I got the digestion book. Should I go along with your advice there or julp into the more refined foods? Also what do recommend for someone who’s tryglycerides are over 400? My husband also has low hdl. Thanks for any advice!

  26. Oh and have frozen hands and feet and a very high libido. I am 36 with three children. :)

    • Lizabeth: Hope Matt gets round to helping you out. I want to thank you. You’ve given me an idea for a short story.

      • Ha thanks for the response. I thought I was invisible for awhile. I guess I could try to do the little bit of dairy at a time and see how that goes. :)

        • Lizabeth, you appear to be a gorgeous woman (based on your photo) with cold hands, cold feet, and a very high libido. There was NO WAY IN HELL that combination was going to fly under my radar. And I am serious. It has inspired a short story that I will soon pen.

          How does that manifest when you become a “crazy psycho” on sugar? Why don’t you try eating sugar isolated from other stuff and see what happens? That’s right, just get yourself a teaspoon of sugar or honey and gulp it down. Would be interesting to know if it’s sugar or something else in the sweets causing the problem, that’s why I suggest this experiment.

          Is it all cereals that cause you problems or just glutinous ones, like wheat? What about WHITE rice? Many people who have wheat issues do ok with that one.

          Yes, try adding back in a little dairy at a time. Start out with miniscule amount and every few days, add a little more. Be disciplined about it and don’t be tempted to add back too much at once.

          My understanding is that it is PUFAs that very often cause high triglycerides. That’s just what I have read, so take that with a grain of salty. You might want to test it. Try getting rid of the nut seed oils and use butter, coconut oil, or olive oil. If you need a neutral tasting oil, macadamia nut oil (the only nut oil you can use a lot of) is the way to go. You can get it from a soap making company in bulk for cheap.

          • Let me give you a little background. Grew up eating processed food and pop ect. Never had weight issues. Was always kind of depressed and had acne issues although acne not too horrible. After getting pregnant with 2nd child became very depressed, fatigued and diet was horrible. Got pregnant right away after having my daughter and was still depressed and eating pretty bad. Had a midwife so she sparked my interest in natural living ect. Found cheeseslave joined a coop with grassfed beef, pastured eggs ect. Still ate organic whole wheat and drank raw milk, Kerry Goldbutter. Still has bad allergies, some acne, inflammation where wisdom teeth were removed. Was going to have surgery but the oral surgeon would not do it because of my allergies and recommended I remove all allergens from diet to see if that helped first. So I cut out all grains, dairy, (except butter)and refined sugars. Well every problem I had went away. I actually felt like a normal person. I would eat about a 1/2 pound of raw honey a week. I also ate alot if cashews and almonds. The only thing I still would get is some head congestion and a stuffy nose but had accupuncture and that helped. I did have some beans here and there too. Of coarse I could only do this a few months and have been struggling with the depression and digestive issues since. I have constant bloating even though its not too noticeable because I am thin, but I feel it. I used to be able to suck in my stomach really small even after having three kids and being a size 6-8. I have a hard time sucking in now and I am a size 2-4. So it’s more the refined sugars and the wheat that cause the craziness. But I have been pretty good about gluten free and I still think its too many starches and it causes that the depression and anxiety. The anxiety is usual directed at my husband and it is usual jealousy issues and really it is uncalled for because he doesn’t really do anything to cause it. It is irrational. I do cheat about every other week with pizza or something like that. I would love to go back to feeling normal again. Not paranoid about my husband . I have contemplated Gaps but just don’t know if I could do that for a year or two.

          • Lizabeth,

            Let me ask you a few things. I am just trying to help out and I am not trying to act like an expert, because I am not. First of all, I am not clear when you first became aware that dairy and wheat caused chronic bloating. Did this happen as a child or was it later? When?

            By the way, there’s not that much difference between refined sugar and honey, so if you ate 1/2 pound of honey a week and found that you felt ok, then it would appear to me that you shouldn’t have problems with sugar. That *may* not be the source of your problem.

            Eating that many cashews is VERY HARD on the digestive system. I know that when I was eating Paleo (low amount of carbs) I would eat lots of fat to take away the pangs of hunger.

            Anyway, do you think it is possible that maybe one problem is that you are not producing enough stomach acid? Would you consider supplementing some HCL (hydrochloric acid) with your meals? I am hesitant to recommend supplements (so many of them are bullshit) but this one actually did help me when I was having some problems.

            I will tell you. I am suspicious of the link between nutrition and depression. I mean, there may be some nutrients that help some and some that do harm, but I really have my doubts that it can be attributed to diet and that it can be resolved through diet. Just my opinion. I have three kids, too, and if you were already depressed and tired, that extra burden can just add gasoline to the fire. I am sure you love your kids as much as I do mine, but that does not eliminate the fact that they consume huge amounts of energy.

            We can keep the conversation going here, but you might also want to email Matt, since he has a lot more experience with this sort of thing than I do.

            Hang in there! You will get better.

          • I tried hcl before and noticed no difference at all. The bloating has happened for the last maybe 5-6 yrs. I will say i did have a breast augmentation and it seems that is when the bloating started but I can’t say for sure. I have tried probiotics, fermented foods ect. The only time it has flattened is when I have went no grain and that is the only time my depression has went away and I have felt peaceful. Maybe I can try the hcl again for a longer time. Maybe I am answering my own questions…lol. I just want to jack up my metabolism with going no grain again. Thanks for your time and yes maybe I should directly contact Matt.

          • What about some of the digestive enzymes, particularly for carbohydrates? I’ve read that some don’t produce enzymes for complex carbohydrates and because of this they get low blood sugar upon ingesting them, and this is how you would get depressed (variations in sugar) among other mental issues.

            I’ve read about it somewhere, at the Dr. Lowe’s archived site. He actually measured the blood glucose of this woman upon ingesting complex carbohydrates before and after enzymes.

          • Thanks. That is worth exploring!

          • Damn it! I blew my chance. It’s always “Matt, MATT, MATT”! :)

          • This may not be 180 degree-friendly advice, but if you felt so much better grain-free why not try it again for a limited amount of time? Maybe you’ll be able to do dairy. And there are still plenty of starchy things you can eat like potatoes. Maybe after awhile you could try white rice? And in the meantime, keep up the probiotics, etc. to try and heal your gut.

            I know no one likes restrictive eating, but depression is really debilitating. I think Anne Marie of Cheeseslave even had to give up most grains for awhile in her 20s and after 1 year or 2 could add them back in. Even Matt had to give up legumes for awhile.

          • Yes, I think I know the answer. Maybe I was hoping Marr had a great short cut! :) I have been reading his blog way too much and I just want to eat pizza and ice cream!

          • *Matt* gerrr auto correct not Marr

          • Do you notice if you have a problem when you have refined wheat flour and/or whole grain? I don’t know if you caught my mention of discovering that I have a problem with bran (severe depression being my worst symptom), but do absolutely fine with refined grains. I can eat white flour based anything and have no symptoms whatsoever. Could that possibly be the case for you as well?

      • I hope you’ll share with us?

        • I will and Lizabeth needn’t despair. I won’t use her name. BTW, Tierney, would you be willing to chat with me about LDN? I’ve started playing around with it.

          • Of course, can Matt give you my email?

          • I am pretty sure he can’t give it without your permission. We can by-pass that. Here is my email, if you wouldn’t mind writing first so I can respond to you: entheogens(at)yahoo(dot)com

            Thanks a bunch!

  27. Question. I was pretty strict low carb paleo for almost 2 years and I started rrarfing about a month ago. I have to say for the past 5 months or so I’ve been completely turned off by meat but was eating it anyway to fill my “quota.” Since I started rrarfing I am even more unappetized by meat. Should I “muscle” my way through some anyway (i’ve been throwing ground beef in to rice to make it palatable) or is dairy and an egg here and there enough? (I’m nursing a 2 year old fairly often btw, if that’s relevant.) I made some mighty good pot roasts and such during my 2 year meatopia but even when I cook it all I do is give some to my husband and I just sort of internally scoff at it until I mix it well in to some potatoes.

    • Hi Being Venus,

      I was VLC for about a year and it wasn’t until I came off it and ate other things that I didn’t feel like meat and protein in general. Still don’t, but not as extreme.

    • Hi Being Venus,

      I also have less of a desire to eat meat now that I have increased my starches, sugars and fats. I don’t think you need to “power through” anything regarding meat. Just make sure you are getting adequate (but not high) amounts of protein. Fats are more beneficial for adding caloric density than meat is(unless it is a really fatty piece of meat). Adding dairy such as full fat milk and cheeses will help if you still do not desire meat. I hope this helps.

      • Oops, I forgot to add that eating eggs will be helpful as well.

  28. I’ve been reading Eatopia the past 2 days straight– thank you for that link!

    I am trying to heal my metabolism after a few years of “super healthy living” aka calorie restriction, food phobia (which led to food intolerances) and over exercising. I am finding myself waking up nightly (in almost an aburpt panicked state, like I was just having a nightmare) and my first instinct is to eat. I know Matt recommends in one of his books to eat a salt/sugar combination and go back to bed but I have just been eating a snack and going back to sleep. Does anyone else have this issue? does it go away after some healing?

    I also made the mistake of weighing myself out of curiosity since starting my refeeding a month ago, and the scale said I gained 20 lbs! All of my clothes still fit and I thought I may have gained around 7lbs, not 20! Is this serious water retention from the increase in calories or what?

    • Eating too much, too close to bedtime does this to me. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve gained 50 :S Went from 140 to 190 in 5 months!The worst part of about it is my aching back first thing in the morning. Getting bigger actually works muscles you’ve not used before, lol.

  29. Anybody else see the irony of all the conflict induced by reading blogs like these? I think I’m gonna take an info fast and just see what happens. Reading health blogs too much only makes eating a more stressful, robotic and intellectual process for me.

    I’ve got to be honest, I wish I never had to eat at all. I hope I’m not becoming an anhedoniac….

    • Corey,

      If I was dieting, then yes, but for the healing process, no. I expect my eating habits will be robotic for the next year, but I do so (even though I don’t like counting calories) with the end goal in mind of never having to do it for the rest of my life after I’m completely healed. Having said that, mental breaks are good though.

      • My problem goes deeper than just food, and I wish more people would understand and acknowledge this.

        I am prone to bouts of melancholy and depression (sometimes for no reason at all), and can assure you that diet and what I eat don’t always fix this. As an outsider, I have little interest in the machinations of this modern world and often find myself apathetic with the knowledge that humans were put here as amusement for the demiurge.

        I see little purpose in consumer culture, and even the arts have been subjugated by the aesthetic train wreck of modern society and its inhabitants. I’m surrounded by people, and yet still alone. I find no meaning in anything, and my appetite (or lack thereof) is just another pain in the arse.

        The irony for me has been that following these protocols has actually become more of a drain on me than when I was just eating food when I wanted. If I eat less though, I get old symptoms back, so I don’t know…….

        • I’m sorry, Corey. I agree with you, if talking about eating and food is more stress than it’s worth it probably is just more of a pain than helpful. I actually do relate to the depression and loneliness though. Severe depression was one of the symptoms I had when eating whole grains/bran. Not knowing what was going on at the time, I went on medication for the depression (off of it now that I know what was causing it). I have always been a loner and don’t easily click with other people because I view things differently than most around me. I find it hard to find common ground interests in order to have something to talk about. Well, anyhow, I know you don’t want my pity and you probably didn’t even want me to share that, but I just wanted you to know that I do understand some aspects of what you’re talking about. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my husband and sister that sometimes I just want to live in the middle of nowhere in a cabin and not have to deal with what feels like the harried pace, and in many ways shallowness, of society. Have you ever watched Alaska the Last Frontier? I love watching that show because it’s precisely what I imagine when I think of wanting to ditch modern life. I like to live through their life and imagine myself actually experiencing it. Although I don’t think I could ever live in Alaska because I don’t think I could handle the cold and long stretches of darkness. Well, I’m just rambling now. Hugs.

          • Wow, sounds like we have a lot in common.

            I use work to get through the days. Feels meaningless, but I just keep going anyway. I know (I think we all do) that money is just bullshit, but where’s there a better way? Don’t think society could function now without it.

            Depression and mental illness run in my mother’s side of the family. My mother had a nervous breakdown when I was born, and I often wonder what long-term effects it has had on me.

            I’ve never been allowed to express dissent and anger, and as a result I tend to brood before blowing up. I’m normally mild-mannered, but sometimes the dark calls and grabs me; that’s the best way I can describe it.

            Anyways, I thank you for your thoughts. It sounds like you’re incredibly strong, which I really do admire. I’m tough, but we can’t be made of stone all the time, can we?

          • Depression and mental illness runs in my family as well, but I now wonder how much of it may be due to food after my bran discovery. I don’t have problems with depression since removing it from my diet. I’m still not social, but not depressed like I was before. I don’t know that it will be that simple for you, but I hope so.

            Are you willing to get therapy to help with your past? A truly good therapist, not one who just listens, but one who gives you the tools that you didn’t get as a child and teaches you how to respond to your life in a constructive, healing way, etc. A great therapist can turn your life around if any of the problems you are dealing with now stem from that in any way, and you would be surprised to discover the ways in which your past can affect the present. I don’t speak from personal experience, but I’ve personally witnessed this with another person who had their life completely turned around by it. Just a thought. I know some people have an aversion to therapists, which is understandable considering the typical image that most people have of the standard therapist that just listens to you, tells you want you want to hear, and then takes your money. But, just in case you wouldn’t mind, but just hadn’t thought of it, there you go. :)

          • I’ve been to psychologists before. In my current financial situation I just wouldn’t be able to do it anyway. It’s funny, but I’ve had better success just thinking for myself and sorting things out on my own. For every period of depression I have endured, I have always emerged much stronger and wiser.

            I’ve realised the past few days that my obsessive nature has been getting the better of me and making me feel worse than things actually are, as is normally the case. My perspective is returning, and I am choosing to see this as a slow and steady learning process, rather than something I have to do perfectly the whole time. I firmly believe that the number one problem for most people is stress itself, and it is in my best interests to make avoiding stress my top priority. I’m one of those people that don’t do well rushing, so when I try to, I get frazzled.

            I’ve hardly eaten any grains at all for the past 12 years. I’ve experimented a little with white flour during overfeeding, although I’m still very cautious of overdoing it, only eating it a couple of times a week. I eat plenty of potatoes and white rice which digest very well. Whole grains definitely give me issues, and after researching this on the Internet, it appears that I am not alone. I think if I take things slowly with white flour, I will get better long-term results for myself.

          • Good catch. It sounds like you have a good handle on things, and are being smart about how you push forward. We’re always here if you need us to lend you an ear.

          • Thanks Emma and Amy,

            Gonna add hashed potatoes to my repertoire starting today.
            Also got some good quality B vitamins to try. Keepin a mantra: keep on truckin’, keep on truckin’.

          • I agree with Emma that therapy can help. It made a big difference in my life. My only caution is, they can sometimes push drugs. I get anxiety and I’ve had drugs pushed by every therapist I’ve seen, always refused them. (I do acknowledge there are some situations where they may be necessary – I think it was Tierney here who couldn’t take care of her children because she would lock herself in a room crying, and I can support drugs in that sort of scenario as long as people are aware of the risks and warning signs, but for mild depression like yours I personally feel it’s unnecessary and actually harmful – read Robert Whitaker’s “Anatomy of an Epidemic” or Peter Breggin’s work if you have any doubts). So that’s the one disclaimer.

            I think also the world as it is today lends itself to the sort of depression you’re experiencing. I feel it, too, ever since the financial crisis began actually, and I find the superficiality of the world, not to mention the crap with corporations buying our leaders and the total lack of concern for our future generations, really, really challenging. Maybe the most helpful thing would be reaching out to other people who also feel the need for more connection. There are a lot of us out there!

            As far as diets go, the only thing I will say has helped me a lot is B vitamins. If I take a good b-complex vitamin it without fail makes me feel better, and I’ve heard the same from others, too. I have also heard the the combo of cod liver oil and butter oil has helped some people, and magnesium is another. So, you could try those just to see, if you want. I would also recommend homeopathy, which is wonderful for mental issues like depression and anxiety, but I know not everyone is into alternative medicine.

          • I was under the impression that vitamin supplements weren’t so good. What is the brand that you use? I take black strap molasses just about every day, and I vaguely remember hearing that it contained some b vitamins and plenty of magnesium. I haven’t been eating very much meat whilst overfeeding; I just don’t have the appetite for it. I am drinking a little bit of raw milk though and eating some eggs from time to time. It seems that overfeeding lessens the desire for fat and meat in me.

            I like to use good quality butter and refined coconut oil for fat sources. I’ve experimented with junk food moderately, but I have noticed no great metabolic benefits. I can only get away with eating a local pizza, which seems to go down quite well.

          • Yes, the times are definitely a-changin’ – in a lot of ways for the worse, I think. I abhor consumerism, so being surrounded by malls and shopping centres is anathema to my spirit. My family are a little simple, so they don’t get my rantings against the system. They actually seem to enjoy the whole game.

            That’s the hardest part. Staying true to yourself while everyone else just goes along with it. Builds character, though : )

          • Yup that is true! And at the end of the day you have to do what makes you happy.

            On supplements, I know taking single vitamins is probably not the most ideal, but I’ve been ok on B vitamins. I don’t take them every day, just sometimes when I feel I need them (usually times of stress, or if I feel “low”), and I’ll usually take some vit c with them. I use Wellness Resources B vitamin complex, but there are probably a bunch of brands that would be fine (just make sure it’s the real B vitamins, not synthetic). If you wanted to do a more “food-based” solution, you could always try brewers yeast tablets. Or maybe beef liver if you like it. Molasses has b6 but that’s about it. I think it’s the niacin and b12 that are helpful for mood, and you’re not getting those with molasses.

          • Thanks for all your replies! Best wishes.

        • yeah this is clinical depression (I can relate to everything you said)… And no amount of health food or new diet in the world will fix it. There are a lot of other options though.

    • Me too Corey! A long time ago someone said to me that he wished he could be like a snake and eat once a month- I thought he was crazy- but now I understand that feeling. That is why I am mostly living on smoothies, I can throw in a bunch of healthy stuff and not have to “think” too much about it or spend time preparing it. But I know I feel my best when I eat regular “square meals” like I used to.

      • Potatoes, quinoa and sweet potatoes save me most days. I’m finding meat repulsive lately.

  30. Has anyone sought the help of an endocrinologist to help in healing their metabolism? Or even a nutritionist/dietician?

    • A few have sought out endocrinologists to prevent healing their metabolism. Even more have sought out nutritionists/dieticians to help lower their metabolisms.

      • lol!!

      • Oh my gosh, Matt, that was such a funny response. True most of the time, yes, but there are a small handful of endos and nutritionists that are actually helpful and know what they’re talking about. The problem is, it can be difficult to find them.

      • I can’t believe I paid to be talked down to with information culled from a fashion magazine. And when I said “My stomach likes red meat” she responded “The human body is so interesting!” My idiot alarm went off and there was no going back (to standard thinking) after that.

    • Haha. Actually, yes, I did see an endocrinologist. I did not find it helpful, and yes, it made things worse. He prescribed T3 (cytomel) which gave me the most horrific heart palpatations so I stopped that. I did find accupuncture helpful, as well as homeopathy.

      • Although actually, I did see a nutritionist and she was extremely helpful. She was an eating disorder specialist, and that is the key. They will tell you to eat more and get on a regular meal pattern. I was underweight when I began seeing her. Not sure how it would go if you’re overweight, but if you’re going to see one I would recommend an ED specialist.

        • Its hard because I was never overweight or underweight– just unhappy with my body and went on ridiculous diets and food restrictions the past 2 years in the pursuit of happiness, which inevitably, made me more miserable because I felt so bad physically. I realize now that I do have disordered eating, but since I am not clinically underweight (Im 5’6, 140lbs) I feel like telling my family I want to see a specialist for an eating disorder will be difficult, and finding a doctor who agrees with me and everything I have learned from this site and Eatopia will also be hard.

          • That is tough. I will say I do not think you need a nutritionist. It was helpful for me in terms of setting up a meal plan and getting away from what I thought was a normal, healthy meal at the time (A bowlful of veggies with a few legumes basically as “dinner”), but you could probably do the same thing based on the websites here and Eatopia. I will tell you the basic model she gave me:
            -Eat 3 meals and 1 or 2 snacks, every day, on schedule, no matter what. If you binge at night, you still eat breakfast the next morning. No exceptions. You need more than anything to get on a regular eating schedule.
            -You need to eat balanced meals and include treats and “forbidden foods” in normal quantities. So, each meal should be a carb, protein and fat. The possibilities are endless here (toast with peanut butter could be a snack for example, or dinner could be potatoes, baked chicken and veggies with butter/olive oil, and maybe a helping of ice cream for dessert).
            -You need to eat enough calories, but do not count calories. (You may need to count initially, I guess, if you don’t know if you’re eating enough)
            -Listen to your hunger. Before each meal think about if you’re hungry, how hungry you are. If you have a craving, think about why (you can still eat what you’re craving, just think about if you’re really hungry, or just bored or sad, etc.). This helps you learn real hunger cues over time.
            -Eat mindfully. Don’t wolf down food while watching TV if you can help it. Slow down and listen to your body while you eat. (I am still not the best at this, ha)
            – Try to focus more on your life with food. Maybe you went on diets as an escape. Get in touch with your feelings, and the food part will come over time.

            Hope this helps!

          • * Try to focus more on your life RATHER THAN food

          • this was very helpful, thank you!!

  31. THANK YOU SO MUCH. Seriously. About the book. 99 cents? You are a God. I’m definitely going to buy it. I’m going to check this website obsessively every day until it comes out.

  32. In terms of wanting to loose some fat say 20lbs. How would you approach that The Real Army?
    Like ive done the same things in terms of fasting, restricting, binging etc.

    • I don’t know. I’ve never tried losing 20 pounds except in the context of an eating disorder, so I cannot speak from experience. If it were me, I’d probably try just eating to appetite of real foods, 3 balanced meals a day with enough nutrients, and try to be happy in my life and look good, and wait for it to come off over the long-term. I’d try to focus more on my life, less on food and weight. And would do some visualization exercises a la Jon Gabriel and believe in my heart I could have the physique I wanted. I would go by clothing fit and not the scale, as well.

      • I would do the same on the food front but work on physical fitness. It’s hard to get significantly stronger and fitter over a year or two and not look stronger and fitter in the process. Getting strong and fit isn’t about overdoing it either. In fact, doing too much stalls progress for most.

        • Thanx Matt and The Real Army :D

  33. In terms of people that have spoken to Bill on his billy website. How important is meal frequency? can one just eat 2 meals a day provided it is say 2k calories each meal or more if you need and at the same times? or do one need to eat more meals? in these times its just hard to eat more meals then 2 when going to school and all that stuff :)

  34. I found on his web site now when he says
    “Eat breakfast!
    Breakfast is essential. Your body has been deprived of food throughout the night, therefore your metabolism has slowed. If the cells do not receive sufficient nutrients they will begin to function less efficiently on smaller amounts, and they will actually store more fat to use during these times of nutritional deprivation. Eat five to six small meals a day to keep your body’s fuel supply consistent and keep your metabolism trusting in you. Consistency is important because your body metabolism adapts to your current weight. If you have been dieting or skipping meals your body’s metabolism slows down to compensate for the lack of nutrients. When lean people overeat their metabolism speeds up and when people diet their metabolism slows down. The key is a balance of exercise and diet, not a boot camp that restricts calories and forces exercise at insane levels.”

    Hasnt this been debunked that metabolissm doesnt slow down if you dont eat every 3 hours?

    • Yes it has. It takes at least 3 days and that’s for so skinny people.

      Keep your metabolism trusting in you? LOL

      The conclusion I am coming to is that we live in a crazy world and the “experts” are making it all up as they go along. The more you believe it, the truer it becomes.

      What I think matters more than the food we put in our bellies is the belief we have about the food we are putting into our bellies.

  35. Has anyone else noticed the increasing amount of celebrities who were once very skinny through severe diet and exercise(often just for a movie role) and are now struggling with weight issues? Like Kirstie Alley, Jessica Simpson, Lady Gaga. I find it so interesting that these people have the all the money in the world and every resource at their finger tips, but still haven’t figured out that the diets and extreme exercise are making their condition worse, not better!

    • Yeah. They should just do drugs like Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox did. Both of whom use to be incredibly hot until they adopted the coke whore stringy, greasy hair look. Yuck.

      Give me chunky Jessica Simpson or Christina Aguilar any day of the week over some skanky, skinny drug hos.

  36. For anyone who cares to chime in- I need lots of input:
    I’ve been devouring Gwyneth’s sight and have had the shattering realization that I am NOT recovered from an eating disorder like I thought I was.
    I recovered from the starving myself part and focused my control issues on to thinking certain foods are bad/good ( mainly in the form of GAPS diet).
    It was a double edged sword and probably a blessing at the time because nobody would have ever been able to talk me in to saying screw it and eating 3000 calories a day, and GAPS did get a lot of inflammation calmed down and a decent amount of nutrition in to me.
    But now I realize I’ve been going about it backwards because what I thought were food intolerances was actually just the fact that my digestive system and body in general was not working due to STARVATION!!!!!
    So obviously I’ve never fully healed from the anorexia because I have never at any time eaten enough calories, plus I’ve been pregnant and/or breastfeeding.
    I could go on and on, but my main question is:
    Do I push through what feels like food intolerances and just hope that they’re not and keep eating??
    What if they really are?
    Or do I add things in slowly?
    Since I’m starting at a weight restored place do all the same rules apply to me?
    Oh my, I could ask a million more questions but I’ll leave it at that for now.
    Also- Matt, sorry that I’ve been following your blog for years and getting pretty much the same info but for some reason it didn’t really hit me til you linked to eatopia. Maybe because it’s geared towards ED….but you are still awesome, and also the reason I went to eatopia:)
    Ok, so I need lots of replies to calm my orthorexic mind, I’m totally freaking out and feel like I’ve entered an alternate reality!

    • I am literally in the same boat as you… I have been dealing with what I thought were “food intolerances” the past 2 years, but have recently realized through Matt’s site that my symptoms are really from a screwed up metabolism from multiple diets. Through Gwen’s site I now realize I also have disorded eating. I have been gluten/soy/dairy free the past year and an exercise addict and over Christmas I said screw it and started eating whatever I wanted. I’ve been experiencing some digestive issues, but none nearly as bad as they were when my diet was so limited and my calorie intake was low. I think your body has to get used to digesting the foods you have been avoiding. I still have anxiety with this new way of eating and stopping exercise— It is so strange and nerve racking to buy the foods you have forbidden and labeled in your mind as bad for so long.

      I’m curious as to where to go from here though too, as I am at a normal weight but my symptoms are those of someone who is clinically underweight (no period, low blood pressure, cold hands/feet, no sex drive, hair loss, water retention, brain fog, etc)

      • Hi Keeks,

        Ditto what I said to Kate. :)

    • Kate,

      Everything clicked for me when I read Gwyneth’s site as well, especially the required calorie minimum, which I think is crucial for long term, permanent healing to take place. As she said, if 2000 calories is what it takes to just keep someone alive day to day, you can’t expect to eat that, or less, and thrive, much less heal the body. So, I started tracking my calories at 2500 as she recommends, and have quickly learned that my body is letting me know when it needs more (Nola and I have been discussing this very thing a little further up in the thread). After a couple of days of 2500, I upped my calories to 3000. I’ve been at 3000 for the last couple of days, and my body is already begging for more calories. I was starving in-between my meals today, so I’m going to up my calories to 3500. I had not realized my body would react this way. When beginning, I wondered how I would know when to up my calories and when I would know it was enough, etc., but my body is definitely letting me know. Oddly, but not really now that I know better, I could not follow my body’s hunger signals before when I was eating below 2500-3000 calories, because my metabolism/hunger signals/appetite were messed up from restricted eating. I could easily eat below 2500 and “feel” like I had enough to eat. Wrong! I think it’s crucial to track calories to begin with until the metabolism heals and you can trust your signals again, or, at least, to see if how much your eating is consistently over 2500 and you see that, yes indeed, your hunger signals/appetite are still working well despite previous dieting. Others have said that they didn’t need to track calories in order to heal their metabolism. I think it just depends on each person and where there body is at. It might be something that you’ll want to test out on yourself.

      As far as introducing foods, I’m not well schooled in that. My guess, from what others here have said, is that it’s best to re-introduce foods slowly (amounts and times) to give you body a chance to work up to being able to digest those foods again. I don’t think it takes terribly long for most people though. The body just needs time to adapt.

      • Glad to know we’re in the same boat:)
        Do you limit any foods or did you in the past?
        On Gwyneth’s sight she basically says to go for it(as far as eating all foods), it might suck for awhile but your body will adjust.
        So that’s where I’m kind of going back and forth. I WANT to eat all the foods, I’m just SCARED. And that’s part of what I have to get over – anxiety around food.
        It seems I just channeled my anorexia in to a safer but still not great behavior.
        Not to say the food intolerances didn’t feel real, but now I see I was covering them with a band-aid

        • I guess I meant to direct that @keeks:)

          • @Kate— YES up until the holidays, I was only eating 10-15 different foods… I had completely cut out all grains, gluten, dairy, soy, and was low carb primal. All in an attempt to “fix my food intolerances” but the stricter my diet got, the worse my symptoms became. I rationalized this as my body becoming so clean that even the slightest trace of something was affecting me, but I realized over the holidays that food was not the enemy at all. An extreme diet I went on 2 years ago was the catalyst for all my original symptoms, and the subsequent dieting made them even worse, when I thought I was working to make them better. I understand the fear of trying new foods but honestly, I think you need to just dive right in. Your body will react act first just because you havent eaten them in awhile but it will get better– you have to retrain your body like Matt says. I started doing this around the holidays, started to gain a little weight but also regained my sex drive and started to have an improvement on my moods. But the weight gain freaked me out and I started restricting again. I know now that I should have just kept going with refeeding my body. It is a work in progress.

            Because I am not underweight, but absoutely have a messed up metabolism, I am combining Matts methods along with Gwyn’s. I just started this week again and its been an emotional rollercoaster already— refeeding your body does a number on your hormones but thats how you know its working.

            I am looking into speaking with a therapist as well, as I need to fix the restricted eating that I have been in denial about the past few years.

          • @keeks, let me know what you find out about therapy, Iam considering the same. I’m also coming from a weight restored place, but I’m certain I haven’t recovered from the physical damage caused by the anorexia.

    • Yes Kate, I can’t be everyone to everybody. I like that Gwyneth has a slightly different focus and specialty than I do. I have plenty of thoughts about the vast spectrum of eating disorders, but I’m interested in general health, exercise, all kinds of different things.

      I wouldn’t recklessly eat. You’ve done that before and had trouble seeing it through. You might try really increasing your calories coming from the foods you tolerate the best until you see some positive metabolic changes occurring. Focus on calorie intake like Gwyneth suggests.

      • Thanks Matt! Here’s the thing though – I don’t know if I really have ever eaten recklessly. I have such a paranoia around foods that I was always just telling myself I was, but i wasn’t.
        I’ve had some really great metabolic recovery in the past 4-5 months eating balanced meals every two hours. I think that’s what got me to a place mentally that I finally “got it”. I’ve stalled out on the amount that I’m eating though and I’m pretty sure I need even more (it was a max around 2500). After reading Gwyneth I *think* I might just have to go for it, to get over my fear of food, and to really know what’s bothering me and not bothering me. It’s pretty clear to me that I’m absolutely malnourished though and I haven’t gone through the final phases of remission from anorexia.
        But then on the other hand, maybe I should play it safe with the food…
        I do feel like I’ve had a total epiphany though.
        This is sooo confusing!

        • So I guess what I’m saying is the difference is that I’ve realized/accepted that I have disordered eating, so I think I can actually approach it head-on.

        • Then go for it. I recommend that to everyone first. I call it “swinging for the fences.” If that doesn’t work out after an honest attempt, then you start looking at things to take out of the diet and other health interventions. Just don’t do it half-assed.

          • Are you still of the opinion that processed foods can be beneficial in the beginning? I can see that it would make it easier to get more calories down, it’s still out of my comfort zone though. I have eaten white rice, white sourdough, cookies made with butter, and hg ice cream today, so I’m inching closer.

  37. Cody

    Get you but that is not as easy either.
    What a frustrating topic with so many different opinions.

    Anyone else that has been working with craig etc etc or done this style of eating and lost the weight also even with eating over caloric needs?

    • Yes, I am interested to know if Billy Craig’s results in overfeeding and losing weight are duplicable by others.

      And if so what is the best way to go about it?!
      What levels of overfeeding are required, etc..

      He himself says that 6000 cals are not neccessary and too much,
      but maybe it is that extreme that worked for him?

      • Hi Nola,
        According to some of the posts on Billy’s blog, he does mention that he has used his overfeeding concept to help his clients lose body fat (he is a personal trainer and nutritional counselor). He states that he even got fired froma gym he was employed at because he told his clients to eat more and exercise less. I posted similar question on his blog and he responded that he will provide more info when he does a guest post on this site and he said he is writing a book.

        • Thanx a ton JonO

          Cant wait to read that article and what Billy has to say because it sounds awesome.
          Also in terms of how frequent one has to eat and all that stuff :D

  38. Your blog needs mobile format; I try to read it and can’t. I prefer to read on my I phone rather than my computer.

    Diet recovery is one of the worst things I’ve been through. I’m really not happy and have a lot of anger about how I got in this mess…. Woo hoo, next week is Fashion Week. Yay for fashion!!! No, can’t blame it on the fashion industry…..It’s the culture and its beliefs about what is “healthy”. I’m getting a lot of comments on my new, fatter size 2 figure. Blame the ice cream!! All u dummies, I’m talking to you!

  39. So how long has it taken for anyone who has followed “Eat for Heat” to raise their temps? I feel like mine is actually getting lower, it was only 94.8 this morning. This definitely seems dangerously low to me. Any quick ideas if the salty snacks aren’t working??

    • What’s your story? Are you recovering from something very severe? Sometimes temps are artificially propped up by adrenaline during stress and they plummet when you shut down your stress system. That may be what’s happening here if you are coming from a pretty rough place. If not, there may be something off here.

      • This past year has been rough for me, at the beginning of the year I had some huge stress and what I thought was completely unexplained weight gain- around 10 pounds. I really shouldn’t have freaked out too much about it, I was only around the 110-114 at 5’5″ mark before this, but it sent me down the dieting rabbit hole, where I was trying paleo, restricting calories, and carbs for the first time, started HIIT and fasting, wound up in the hospital in the spring for a week with my very first excruciating migraine after a week long fast. After that I stumbled on your website and was trying some of your ideas, but I have a huge mental block to gaining any weight at all. However, I bought your whole package, especially “Eat for Heat’ because I’m always freezing, and miserable. This led me to start tracking my temperatures these past few months, and I’m getting pretty concerned about how low they keep coming in, no matter what time of day I test, I’m usually always 95-96, never ever have I hit even close to 98, even after a hot shower or working out. I have been really trying to get over my fears, and eat more as the book says, but I still have alot of work to do. I was just wondering if I should be worried or do something else if I’m coming in so incredibly low some mornings- searching the internet for “temps under 95″ gave me some scary links about hypothermia.


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